PhD fellowship in the genetics of regulatory variation and redundancy

Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship commencing 1st of January 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The lab of Robin Andersson focuses on genomics and computational/statistical modeling of transcriptional regulation based on large-scale sequencing data, including experimental data generated from within the lab. We aim to characterize and better understand the architectures and complexities of transcriptional regulation (see e.g. Andersson et al. 2014, Nature) and gain insights into the mechanisms of regulation. We further focus on the fundamental properties of enhancers and promoters (see e.g. Andersson and Sandelin 2020, Nat Rev Genet, 2020). For more information, see .

The Andersson lab is based in a highly collaborative environment at the Bioinformatics Centre in the Section for Computational and RNA Biology, which is currently composed of 11 strong research groups. The Department of Biology is located at the Biocenter in central Copenhagen, Denmark.

Project description
The successful candidate is expected to work on a project aiming to investigate the role of redundant regulatory elements in mutational robustness, using Drosophila melanogaster wing discs as a model system. Specifically, the project will investigate the prevalence and impact of regulatory genetic variation across a panel of genotyped fly lines, to which extent variance in enhancer transcription is reflected in gene expression variability, and how this relationship relates to the architecture of encompassing regulatory topologies. The project is highly interdisciplinary and will include both experimental work (including CAGE and ATAC-seq) and computational modelling of regulatory genetic variants and topologies.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Robin Andersson, Department of Biology,

Job description
The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements
We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a MSc in Molecular Biology or in a related discipline. Experiences in RNA and chromatin laboratory work as well as practical experiences in the analyses of high-throughput sequencing data are considered a plus but is not a formal requirement. Most importantly, the applicant should have a strong interest in transcription and transcriptional regulation and a desire to work on an interdisciplinary project bridging computational and experimental Biology.

In particular, we are looking for candidates with:

  • A MSc in Molecular Biology, or a related discipline
  • Analytical skills
  • A high proficiency in spoken and written English

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) including annual supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Cover Letter
  • CV 
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any)
  • 1-3 reference letters

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is October 4th 2020, 23:59 GMT+2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above-mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Professor Robin Andersson, Department of Biology,
General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 04-10-2020
Employment start: 01-01-2021
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Biology

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